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Thread: Diva Wagner has fire in her soul. Only a medal will do for her.

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    News Only a medal will satisfy Ashley Wagner.

    Ashley Wagner looks to keep U.S. Figure Skating in conversation

    "Ashley Wagner doesn’t mind people talking about her.

    In fact, she’d prefer it.

    Figure skating fares better when there’s an American woman in the medal mix at the Olympics and world championships. While that was once a given, with an almost unbroken line from Peggy Fleming to Michelle Kwan, it hasn’t been the case for much of the last decade, and the entire sport has suffered the consequences..."

    Article Written Nancy Armour for the Associated Press
    Published on December 4th, 2013

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    Celebrating the Excellence of #VirtueMoir golden411's Avatar
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    deleted - wrong thread

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    Quote Originally Posted by GF2445 View Post
    Ashley Wagner looks to keep U.S. Figure Skating in conversation

    "Ashley Wagner doesn’t mind people talking about her.

    In fact, she’d prefer it.

    Figure skating fares better when there’s an American woman in the medal mix at the Olympics and world championships. While that was once a given, with an almost unbroken line from Peggy Fleming to Michelle Kwan, it hasn’t been the case for much of the last decade, and the entire sport has suffered the consequences..."

    Article Written Nancy Armour for the Associated Press
    Published on December 4th, 2013
    Well she is certainly right about the importance of Americans to the health of figure skating for the whole world. And good for her she is going in with a full arsenal of jumps; she who dares, wins. But unless she wins gold I don't think this group of American women is going to change American attitudes anytime soon. Americans need a phenomena like Kim, Asada, Lipnitskaya or even someone like Sasha Cohen to get Americans excited about the sport once again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RABID View Post
    Well she is certainly right about the importance of Americans to the health of figure skating for the whole world. And good for her she is going in with a full arsenal of jumps; she who dares, wins. But unless she wins gold I don't think this group of American women is going to change American attitudes anytime soon. Americans need a phenomena like Kim, Asada, Lipnitskaya or even someone like Sasha Cohen to get Americans excited about the sport once again.

    Quite likely you are absolutely right about America needing a phenomenon, but still I have to give Ashley respect for her clear-eyed assessment of her skating and for her chutzpah in focusing on the podium. I'm glad she's got the fire to say she wants a medal, not just to "skate her best" and blah blah blah. Even though there is truth to the notion that all you can do is skate your best and the rest is up to the judges and officials, there can also be great power in focus and determination. Go, Ashley!

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    Where did the author get her information that Miki ando will be there?

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    She may not get to be a young phenom, but having a great program like "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" doesn't hurt, and neither does being a Cover Girl. I wonder when her commercial comes out.

    And of course a medal!

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    Quote Originally Posted by RABID View Post
    Well she is certainly right about the importance of Americans to the health of figure skating for the whole world. And good for her she is going in with a full arsenal of jumps; she who dares, wins. But unless she wins gold I don't think this group of American women is going to change American attitudes anytime soon. Americans need a phenomena like Kim, Asada, Lipnitskaya or even someone like Sasha Cohen to get Americans excited about the sport once again.
    If Ashley can come away with a medal over one of the favorites (a medal of any color) she'll have at least a six month platform where people will listen. What she does with it will determine if she has the platform longer than that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Icey View Post
    Where did the author get her information that Miki ando will be there?

    The author was referring to the expected competition at Sochi, not the GPF, I believe, when she mentioned Miki Ando?

    I don't know how likely it is that Miki will actually make it to the Olympics, given the competition for spots in Japan, but she IS a two time world champion, so Ms. Armour probably thought it appropriate to put her name in the mix of Olympic contenders.

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    I like Ashley. I like her skating. I like her programs (SP more than her FS). I think she has a decent shot at getting an Olympic medal, and I'd like to see her get it because she's a consistent veteran skater with quality who's proven herself.

    That said, I am very meh on how Ashley talks about how the U.S. ladies need a medalist. Go after that medal for yourself, Ashley, but the sport in the US will continue to survive whether or not you do. Michelle Kwan was inspired by Brian Boitano in 1988.

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    I like the way she thinks. Her character has really won me over.

    Ashley doesn't hide from obstacles or hard truths; she seems to want to recognize them early, so that she can try to do something about them, and then set ambitious but clear goals for herself.

    For American skating fans, you are no longer the "Almost Girl", Ashley, you are DA MAN , and we'll be rooting for you all the way to Sochi!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaylee View Post
    I like Ashley. I like her skating. I like her programs (SP more than her FS). I think she has a decent shot at getting an Olympic medal, and I'd like to see her get it because she's a consistent veteran skater with quality who's proven herself.

    That said, I am very meh on how Ashley talks about how the U.S. ladies need a medalist. Go after that medal for yourself, Ashley, but the sport in the US will continue to survive whether or not you do. Michelle Kwan was inspired by Brian Boitano in 1988.
    I have a slightly different view on the latter point. Some people are more inspired to do their best work when they believe themselves to be in the service of something larger than themselves. It can mitigate internal jitters or nerves because it puts your personal goals in the background. This is not to say that Ashley is faking it; in fact, I'm of the view that it's no good if it's faked; it only works if you really believe in what you're saying.

    This is purely a bit of speculation, but I observe that her father is a senior military officer. I wonder whether this particular cast of mind (imagining projects in terms of goals larger than oneself) was influenced by her upbringing.

    (EDIT: apologies for double posting)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robeye View Post
    I have a slightly different view on the latter point. Some people are more inspired to do their best work when they believe themselves to be in the service of something larger than themselves. It can mitigate internal jitters or nerves because it puts your personal goals in the background. This is not to say that Ashley is faking it; in fact, I'm of the view that it's no good if it's faked; it only works if you really believe in what you're saying.
    If Ashley wants to motivate herself by saying her Olympic medal pursuit is for the greater good of US figure skating, that's fine for her personally.

    It's not just that I think that Ashley should admit she wants that medal for herself, but also, I simply don't agree that what she says is true. There are many, many factors for the decline of figure skating's popularity in the US over the past decade. A US lady not being on the 2010 Olympic podium isn't one of the biggest ones, especially in comparison to the dramatic decrease of television coverage. I don't think that Ashley winning an Olympic medal would suddenly result in a huge change, for example a huge new lucrative US television contract for the ISU for figure skating, or multiple new cheesefests where skaters can earn lucrative prizes and exposure.

    "The U.S. ladies team needs a medalist," Wagner said bluntly. "I just think for this sport to be able to survive and keep on going, we need a medalist. We need that interest in the sport."
    I find this statement problematic. If true, and if widely disseminated and accepted as true, then that would put pressure on the ISU to place a US ladies skater on the podium because without it, the sport isn't going to survive in a major market. I happen to not agree with it, so I don't think that's going to happen, but it's not really an appropriate statement. What if Ashley doesn't deliver and is outskated? Will the ISU judges be forced to choose between judging what happens on the ice versus the survival of the sport in the US? Wow, sucks to be a judge on that panel.

    Anyway, I think Wagner stating that the US ladies need a medalist, and obviously positioning herself to be that medalist and the sport's savior...is all quite self-serving. I like Ashley's skating, but not a fan of this interview.

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    I think, to some extent, Ashley feels that she contributed to the decline of U.S. Figure Skating with her poor performances in the past. The fact she was part of the World team that kept the U.S. from three spots for the first time in 15 years (I believe 1993 was the last time U.S. Ladies were unable to secure three spots) has really haunted her.

    Her laser focus on getting three spots for the Olympics seem to overtake her desire for a good placement individually last season. She actually seemed more thrilled that the U.S. had three spots despite the fact that her placement was worse compared to last year.

    So I don't think she's trying to be self-serving at all. I think she sincerely wants to be part of the solution. Or at least feel that she brought some pride to that the U.S. Ladies program, something that, again, she probably felt was lost when her World team in 2008 lost three spots.

    That said, I agree with you jaylee that there are a plethora of reasons for the decline in popularity of U.S. Figure Skating. Other Winter Olympic sports have always been more niche oriented (i.e. curling) and while Ladies Figures Skating has had had center stage at the Olympics, I don't think the fact our figure skaters aren't national household names means the sport is heading for its downfall.

    Finally, I don't think the ISU or the judges at the Ladies event will take much heed to Ashley's words.There is nothing to be gained by gifting a medal to someone for the unguaranteed prospect of of growing population for one federation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaylee View Post
    If Ashley wants to motivate herself by saying her Olympic medal pursuit is for the greater good of US figure skating, that's fine for her personally.

    It's not just that I think that Ashley should admit she wants that medal for herself, but also, I simply don't agree that what she says is true. There are many, many factors for the decline of figure skating's popularity in the US over the past decade. A US lady not being on the 2010 Olympic podium isn't one of the biggest ones, especially in comparison to the dramatic decrease of television coverage. I don't think that Ashley winning an Olympic medal would suddenly result in a huge change, for example a huge new lucrative US television contract for the ISU for figure skating, or multiple new cheesefests where skaters can earn lucrative prizes and exposure.



    I find this statement problematic. If true, and if widely disseminated and accepted as true, then that would put pressure on the ISU to place a US ladies skater on the podium because without it, the sport isn't going to survive in a major market. I happen to not agree with it, so I don't think that's going to happen, but it's not really an appropriate statement. What if Ashley doesn't deliver and is outskated? Will the ISU judges be forced to choose between judging what happens on the ice versus the survival of the sport in the US? Wow, sucks to be a judge on that panel.

    Anyway, I think Wagner stating that the US ladies need a medalist, and obviously positioning herself to be that medalist and the sport's savior...is all quite self-serving. I like Ashley's skating, but not a fan of this interview.
    I personally do think that a medal will make some difference, though maybe not a fundamental one (unless it was gold, won in the course of some unbelievably exciting circumstances). Given their illustrious history, I think US ladies skaters are under enormous pressure to medal in any case; Ashley isn't creating the pressure, IMO, she's merely recognizing it. And the fact that such goals happen to be good for you don't make them untrue, or unlaudable, in my view.

    So let's just say we disagree.

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